TV Debut: BTS [Behind The Scenes]

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It’s getting closer! My television debut is on Friday 3rd June, with live shows at 11am, 1pm and 5pm. I’m delighted to be showcasing DecoArt Media fluid acrylics and various mediums. Sneaky peaks will be up on the Hochanda Facebook page sometime in the next couple of days. It’s been a busy weekend for me as the products for the shows only arrived at The Studio on Friday morning, and promo pictures were requested about an hour later (to which I politely replied along the lines of ‘you must be joking’!). Want to know what The Studio looks like at the moment, with several concurrent projects on the go so that one is drying as I am working on the next?

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That’s the sample boards done; two 12×12″ panels; ten different 3D papier mâché letters; at least ten different paint and decoupage techniques; at least ten different mediums and a heck of a lot of demo planning, cups of tea and drying time. Oh by the way, the art journal is for the next shows on Thursday 16th June…

I hope you can join me online, on Sky 663, Freeview 39 or FreeSat 817 or even catch-up up to a week after: Friday 3rd June: 11am, 1pm, 5pm.

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Art Journal Pages: Testing Potential Journals II

As promised in my previous post, I used spray inks and copious amounts of water on my test journals. I’m delighted to say that all three passed with flying colours. I wanted to check that the paper didn’t become saturated, there was minimal bleed through of colour to the reverse of the page, and that generally the journals behaved themselves when wet. Here are the results, the journals I used and any notes I made:

Frisk layflat Sketch Pad

This is an absolutely perfect journal – it is 300gsm, pretty much A5 in size, with a laminated cover and 20 pages. The pages really do lay absolutely flat with no gutter in the middle fold – it looks like Frisk have managed to fuse flat sheets of cartridge paper together to make the pages. There was no more buckle than I would expect from wetting any paper and no bleed through. A cracking journal!

 

Frisk Sketch Book

This is a 140gsm, 40 page, A5 landscape format journal with staple binding. It has a laminated black cover, though kraft covers are available as are other sizes. The pages are definitely a lighter weight than the layflat sketch pad, but are no less flimsy when wet. Again, no bleed through to the back of the page. An excellent everyday journal.

 

Hahnemuhle Travel Booklets

I used the small A6 size which makes for a dinky journal, but handy for very quick pages, or journaling on the go. At 140gsm with 20 pages, the twin pack of booklets features stitched binding. The paper was a little more absorbent, with the wet ink soaking in to the page faster than the other two. Even so, there was no bleed through the page and thus it passed the test. It also comes in various sizes.

As a result of my tests, I was happy to recommend all of them to Hochanda buyers in preparation for my art journaling shows on 16th June 🙂

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Art Journal Pages: Testing Potential Journals

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One side effect of being the probably the first art journaling demonstrator on a UK craft TV channel is that I need to help source journals suitable for sale during the shows. This lunchtime I had unexpected happy post containing four journals for me to test. The timing’s a bit awkward – first thing this morning a delivery arrived with all the products I have to make samples with for my first show a week tomorrow… So for pure expediency, I set up a journal test bench this evening and worked my way down the three journals with the same page layout. The fourth? That one is A3 in size, and far too big to do anything in the timescale!

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Art Journal Pages: Complementary Distress

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These pages were an exercise in complementary colours. Using the Distress palette, I chose a colour and then the closest colour to its inverse – a different way to find a complementary colour than using a colour wheel. Above, Stormy Sky meets Gathered Twigs, whilst below, Crushed Olive zings against Shaded Lilac and Dusty Concord. Oh yes, one more thing – buckled pages do not make an easy surface to be stamping paint onto…

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Art Journal Page: Kind Words

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I’ve done faux leather, faux weathered wood and faux brass – here’s a fresh-from-the-desk journal page featuring a faux galvanised steel paint effect with faux rust. The sentiment is apparently a Turkish proverb. Is it immodest to say I’ve surprised myself again with another successful experiment? Next time though, I’ll not leave the studs until last, which somewhat annoyingly overlapped the end of ‘unlock’ – tI added the wording whilst I was waiting for the image transfer to dry, and I needed the image transfer uncovered to get the perspective right for the door studs.

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Art Journal Page: Opportunity Knocks

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There’s not many journals that won’t benefit from an undercoat of gesso. A thin layer helps seal the page, stiffen it and provides an excellent tooth for subsequent layers to stick to. A thicker layer adds texture and depth to the page.

This page is in the journal I’m testing, and started off with a gesso undercoat. Several layers of thinned Dylusions paint forms the weathered varnish, then some metallic gold paint with an image transfer over the top for the brass knocker. The ‘carved’ text is also an image transfer. Shading and ageing achieved with a combination of Pitt Artist Pens and Walnut Stain Distress Ink. Everything sealed with DecoArt Americana Spray Seal (Matte) – which just about fixes the Distress Ink enough to finish with a final sealing coat of DecoArt Media Ultra Matte Varnish.

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Art Journal Pages: Testing A Potential Journal

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So you have grand plans to start art journaling, and you’re wondering what your first step should be? It’s important to find a journal that will take all that you throw at it. It has to be able to take wet media without the pages getting flimsy or buckling. It has to be able to lie flat so that you can work in it. You don’t want pages easily detaching, nor a wire-o spine stopping you getting to the middle of the spread. Pages shouldn’t be too absorbent, or too smooth – or be able to take a layer of gesso if they are. Hardback or soft cover – well that’s down to personal preference. Here’s a couple of pages I’ve done this afternoon whilst testing a new journal. Above – Dylusions Paints. Below – Distress Sprays/Inks and pigment inks.

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